Alaska Public Library Director Mary Jo Torgenson just released the 2012 report for the library. This document was a great reminder of the importance of stepping back and looking at the big picture. Though filled with numbers, the overall arc of the report emphasizes why the library does what it is doing.
Anchorage Public Library’s five neighborhood libraries are ready for the annual Summer Reading Celebration. The Celebration kicks off with the 13th annual Reading Rendezvous on Saturday, May 18, from noon to 4 p.m., on the Loussac Library lawn. This free, fun fair for all ages features a variety of community booths, each with a different task or craft. You can sign up for the summer reading programs for kids, teens or adults; get an early start on building up your minutes to win prizes, and raise money for BARK-9, a program that trains search and rescue dogs, this year’s Readers to the Rescue recipient.
At least once a year, I like to pay homage to the organizations whose volunteer boards play enormous roles in the vitality of our neighborhood libraries. Friends of the Library, the Anchorage Library Foundation and the Library Advisory Board each provide their own brand of community support to Anchorage Public Library.
Thanks to the Alaska State Library, libraries across the state have access to two excellent programs. The FY2014 funding for both is going through the budget process right now and I’m crossing my fingers that they make it through unscathed.
The Z.J. Loussac Public Library opened in September of 1986 to much hoopla, part of the city’s Project ‘80s public works construction funded by oil money. The three-tower, castle-like design included stairs leading to a concrete deck and the second floor entrance. About 100 staff workstations were spread through the building behind the scenes while the patrons experienced a sweeping environment in which to select their books.
It’s started. October is when the Zombie Apocalypse begins. The cultural cliché: “If you’re prepared for zombies, you’re ready for anything,” applies. Are you ready?
Staff at the Library of Congress has come up with a list of 89 books that significantly “shaped Americans’ views of their world and the world’s views of America.” The eclectic list includes poetry, fiction, plays, cookbooks, biographies, self-help, investigative journalism and books for kids. The Bible is not on the list. The earliest book is Benjamin Franklin’s 1751 “Experiments and Observations On Electricity”; the latest, Cesar Chavez’s 2002 “The Words of Cesar Chavez.”
“I love the library!” yelled Linnea, one of the women on my bowling team, over the cacophony of banging balls and crashing pins at Center Bowl. She waved her MP3 player. “I love the new program that lets you download new songs every week.”